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This document is not an ASTM standard and is intended only to provide the user of an ASTM standard an indication of what

changes have been made to the previous version. Because


it may not be technically possible to adequately depict all changes accurately, ASTM recommends that users consult prior editions as appropriate. In all cases only the current version
of the standard as published by ASTM is to be considered the official document.

Designation: F 1177 – 96a02

Standard Terminology Relating to


Emergency Medical Services1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation F 1177; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of
original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval. A
superscript epsilon (e) indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.

1. Scope
1.1 This terminology covers standard definitions of terms which apply to all F-30 standards, but which are more precise than
common usage.
2. Referenced Documents
2.1 ASTM Standards:
F 1219 Guide for Training the Emergency Medical Technician (Basic) to Perform Initial and Detailed Assessment2

1
This terminology is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee F-30 on Emergency Medical Services and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee F30.06 on
Terminology.
Current edition approved June 10 and Dec. Sept. 10, 1996. 2002. Published May 1997. October 2002. Originally published as F 1177 – 88. Last previous edition
F 1177 – 946a.

Copyright © ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, United States.

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F 1177 – 96a02
F 1253 Guide for Training the Emergency Medical Technician (Basic) to Perform Patient Secondary Assessment3
F 1254 Practice for Performance of Prehospital Manual Defibrillation2
F 1255 Practice for Performance of Prehospital Automated Defibrillation2
F 1256 Guide for Selection and Practice of Emergency Medical Services Instructor for Basic Life Support/Emergency Medical
Technician (BLS/EMT) Training Programs2
F 1257 Guide for Selection and Practice of Emergency Medical Services Instructor for Advanced Life Support/Emergency
Medical Technician (ALS/EMT) Training Programs2
F 1287 Guide for Scope of Performance of First Responders Who Provide Emergency Medical Care2

3. Terminology
23.1 Appropriate definitions for interpretation of terms used in ASTM Emergency Medical Services standards shall be
determined in the following order:
23.1.1 Specific definitions of terminology or description of terms provided in the standard. These will apply to use of the term
in that standard only.
23.1.2 ASTM Standard Terminology Relating to Emergency Medical Services (Standard F-1177).
2.1.3 Taber’s (F 1177).
3.1.3 Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 16th Edition (Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company, 1989).
2.1.4 Mosby’s Edition.4
3.1.4 Mosby’s Emergency Dictionary (St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Company, 1989).
2.2 Dictionary.5
3.2 Definitions:
adjunct instructor—an individual with specialized subject matter expertise, who, on occasion, instructs a specific topic of a
curriculum under the direction of the course instructor/coordinator. F 1256, F 1257
advanced life support—medically accepted life sustaining, invasive or non-invasive procedures; provided at under the detirection
of a physician or other authorized health care provider.
ambulance—a vehicle for transportation of the sick and injured, equipped and staffed to provide emergency medical care during
transit.
ambulance service—a qualified provider of medical transportation for patients requiring treatment and/ or monitoring, or both,
due to illness or injury.
ambulance service provider—a person or organization, either public or private, responsible for operation, maintenance, and
administation of an ambulance service.
associate instructor—an individual who possesses the qualifications and education/training of a course instructor/coordinator, but,
in a specific course, assumes a supportive or assisting role to the course instructor/coordinator. This individual may substitute
for the course instructor/coordinator in case of necessity or, in other courses, serves as a course instructor/coordinator.
F 1256, F 1257
basic life support (BLS)—medically accepted non-invasive procedures used to sustain life.
basic life support/cardiopulmonary resuscitation (BLS/CPR)—a set of skills that includes airway management, chest
compressions, and others as defined by the American Heart Association. F 1254, F 1255, F 1287
call rotation—a system in which emergency medical responses are allocated sequentially to multiple providers.
clinical certification—a standardized process for evaluation and recognition of an acceptable level of competence in a specific
aspect of patient care. F 1256, F 1257
clinical experience—exposure to and practice in an area of patient care. F 1256, F 1257
clinical/field preceptor—an individual who supervises and evaluates the students during clinical or field experiences under the
direction of the course instructor/coordinator. F 1256, F 1257
clinical medical practice—patient diagnosis and treatment, including treatment protocols, which are the purview of qualified
professionals (as determined by the state or other appropriate authority).
communication resource—an entity responsible for implementation of direct medical direction and/or direction, or entities
responsible for response and scene two-way communication, or both (a.lso k.nown a.s medical control resource).
course administrator—an individual responsible for managing administrative details of a course, separate from actual instruction
of the course. F 1256, F 1257
course instructor/coordinator (I/C)—an individual who is authorized by the appropriate entity to present and assess competence
in all of the subject matter contained in a curriculum. This person also oversees all instruction in the course and makes final
evaluations concerning student competence. F 1256, F 1257

2
Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 13.01.
3
Discontinued. See 1998 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 13.01.
4
Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 16th Edition, F. A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA, 1989.
5
Mosby’s Emergency Dictionary, C. V. Mosby Company, St. Louis, MO, 1989.

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F 1177 – 96a02
definitive care—a level of therapeutic intervention capable of providing comprehensive health care services for a specific
condition.
delegated practice—the medical activities of providers performed under the authority and direction of a licensed physician.
direct medical control—the process of providing immediate physician orders to EMS personnel through direct communication
(a.k.a. (also known as on-line medical control, indirect medical direction). control).
dispatch life support—the knowledge, procedures, and skills used by trained emergency medical dispatchers in guiding care by
means of post-dispatch (pre-arrival) instruction to callers.
EMS region—a defined geographic area used for EMS planning, development, and coordination.
emergency medical dispatcher (EMD)—a trained public safety telecommunicator with additional training and specific
emergency medical knowledge essential for the efficient management of emergency communications.
emergency medical facility—a physical structure, excluding mobile vehicles, which has been approved by the appropriate
regulatory authority to receive emergency patients and which is equipped and staffed to evaluate and treat patients with life
threatening conditions.
emergency medical services (EMS) system— a coordinated arrangement of resources (including personnel, equipment, and
facilities) organized to respond to medical emergencies, regardless of the cause.
emergency medical services—the provision of services to patients requiring immediate assistance due to illness or injury,
including access, response, rescue, prehospital and hospital treatment, and transportation.
emergency medical services (EMS) system—a coordinated arrangement of resources (including personnel, equipment, and
facilities) organized to respond to medical emergencies, regardless of the cause.
health care provider—an organization, institution, or individual authorized to provide direct patient care.
indirect medical direction—the physician management of all clinical aspects of an EMS system, including but not limited to
planning, training, implementation, and evaluation (a.k.a. (also known as off-line medical control direct medical direction).
control).
intervenoer physician—a licensed M.D. or D.O., having not previously established a doctor/patient relationship with the
emergency patient, who is willing to accept responsibility for patient care, and who can provide proof of a current medical
license.
medical direction—physician responsibility for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the clinical aspects of an
EMS system (a.k.a. medical direction). system.
medical director—off-line—a physician responsible for all aspects of an EMS system dealing with the provision of medical care
(also known as System Medical Director).
medical protocol—pre-established physician authorized procedures or guidelines for medical care of a specified clinical situation,
based on patient presentation (a.k.a. (also known as standing orders).
medical transportation services—the moving of patients from one location to another. Specific services include any or all of the
following: emergency and non-emergency medical response and transportation; scheduled and non-scheduled interfacility
transfers, medical standbys, long-distance medical transfers, air medical response and transport (helicopter and fixed wing
aircraft); and stretcher and wheelchair transport services.
medical transportation system—a sub-system of the emergency medical services system consisting of an organization or
collection of medical transport services which provide transportation, treatment, and observation of patients for a specific
geographic area.
mutual aid—the furnishing of resources, from one individual or agency to another individual or agency, including but not limited
to facilities, personnel, equipment, and services, pursuant to an agreement with the individual or agency, for use within the
jurisdiction of the individual or agency requesting assistance.
off-line medical director—a physician responsible for all aspects of an EMS system dealing with the provision of medical care
(also known as System Medical Director).
on-line medical physician—a physician immediately available, when medically appropriate available for communication of
medical direction to non-physician prehospital care providers in remote location.
pertinent patient information—information obtained from all available resources that relates to the patient’s condition and
problems. This information must be continuously updated. All information must be recorded and reported. F 1219, F 1253
practical skills instructor—an individual who assists with practical skills instruction under the direction of the course
instructor/coordinator. F 1256, F 1257
prehospital emergency medical services—a sub-system of the emergency medical services system which provides medical
services to patients requiring immediate assistance due to illness or injury, prior to the patients’ arrival at an emergency medical
facility.
prehospital provider—all personnel providing emergency medical care in a location which is remote from facilities which are
capable of providing definitive medical care.
sequential response—Tthe assignment, according to local protocols, of emergency medical resources with varying levels of care
capability to the scene of an illness or injury based on information received from previously arrived, medically trained, on-scene
responders. A sequential response differs from a simultaneous response.

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F 1177 – 96a02
simultaneous response—Tthe assignment of multiple emergency medical resources to the scene of an illness or injury based on
initially available information and local opera-tional policies. These may have varying levels of care capability (for example
ALS and BLS, ground and air). Subsequent care and/ or transportation, or both, of the patient is provided by the unit which most
closely meets the patient’s needs. A simultaneous response differs from a sequential response.
standing orders—a type of medical protocol which provides specific- written orders for actions, techniques, or drug
administration when communication has not been established for direct medical direction.
tiered response—a predetermined, protocol driven, level of medical care and vehicle operation mode based on multiple levels of
resource response. The two types of tiered response are sequential responsee (q.v.) and simultaneous response (q.v.).
trauma care system—a subsystem within the EMS system designed to manage the treatment of the trauma patient.
vehicle operation mode—the manner of operation of an emergency medical vehicle, involving the use of warning devices and
the exercise of driving privileges legally allowed for emergency vehicles.
wilderness setting—situations in which the delivery of patient care by EMS providers is complicated adversely affected by
logistical complications, such as: an environment that is physically stressful or hazardous to the patient, rescue personnel, or
both; remoteness with respect to logistics and access; of the patient’s location, such that it causes a significant delay in the
delivery of care to the patient; an environment that is physically stressful to both patients and rescuers; or the lack of equipment,
adequate medical supplies, a equipmendt, or transportation. F 30.02.05

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